How to Save Money on Your Coffee Habit

CC BY 2.0. Vesselin Dochkov

Start with buying a great coffee maker and using it daily.

Coffee is a glorious but expensive habit, particularly if you enjoy grabbing it on the run. While it may not seem like a lot, a few dollars a day on coffee adds up to a significant amount over the course of a year. There are, however, a few ways in which to save money and make your coffee habit less of a drain on your wallet.

Make it at home... and make it as easy as possible to make it home. For example, prepare your coffee maker the night ahead so all you have to do is flick a switch or turn on the element. Buy a coffee maker and grinder that you like using, that makes a coffee as good as or better than what you’d get at the local coffee shop.

Don’t buy a Keurig. Not only are single-use pods absurdly expensive, working out to between $30 and $50 per pound (compared to $16/pound for organic fair-trade beans), but they’re difficult to recycle. The only way a Keurig makes sense is if you buy a reusable pod that you fill with your own freshly ground beans – but then what’s the point if the coffee doesn’t taste as good as other brewing methods that are just as easy?

Make going out a treat. Limit yourself to once a week or something along those lines. Come up with alternative outings if you need to meet friends, i.e. take a walk, go to the park, meet at home.

Make simpler orders. There are all kinds of hacks you can do, like ordering a double shot of espresso in a cup (over ice, if you wish) and filling with milk to make a latte, or adding cream to an Americano, or sticking with the ordinary drip coffee (gasp!). Try ordering a smaller size or an entire press to satisfy multiple people at the table. Take advantage of free refills.

Spice it up. Add your own flavorings to make homemade coffee more appealing. Buy a cheap milk frother that will transform ordinary coffee into something spectacular. Make coffee icea cubes, if you’ve got leftovers, for future iced lattes.

Buy an awesome mug. Drinking coffee out of a mug is much nicer than a takeout cup, not to mention waste-free. You’ll be more inclined to drink coffee at home with a nice mug, and you can also save a bit (10-25 cents) at certain coffee shops.

Try different energy-boosting drinks. Add variety to your hot drink repertoire. Tea is much cheaper than coffee and can give you a good caffeine kick when you need it. Homemade matcha lattes are far cheaper than storebought. Check out this list of 9 energy boosting drinks that aren’t coffee.